BOBBIES will be off the beat and on their bikes to raise money for juvenile diabetes at this Sunday’s Pedal for Scotland cycle.
Linlithgow sergeant John Jackson is heading up the 24-strong team from Lothian and Borders Police cycling from Glasgow to Edinburgh, fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), after they were inspired by local girl Christie McNab (8) who was diagnosed with type one diabetes last February.
Mum Iona and dad Fergus of Avontoun Park had to change their lives around after they found out that Christie was diabetic.
Iona said: “Christie had been unwell for a little while over the winter, she had a temperature but it was on and off and I put it down to a virus.
‘‘When she started suffering from lethargy - she couldn’t climb up the stairs, and extreme thirst, the alarm bells started ringing and I suspected diabetes.”
The family rushed her to the doctor, who stabilised her before admitting her to the Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh for five days.
Fortunately Christie’s blood sugar levels had not soared high enough to result in kidney or liver problems.
Iona added: “Within a week of being in hospital, Christie was back at school and her dancing, gym- nastics, swimming and music
‘‘She’s a really independent child and she’s not let it stop her from doing anything but it was difficult for us all.
‘‘It was a shock and she took a while to get used to having four injections a day but within six weeks she was doing them herself.
“She has to do blood glucose checks and she knows when she’s low - she’s very in tune with her body.
‘‘This is huge for an eight-year-old to learn and I’m very proud of her.”
The family still go to the Sick Kids Hospital for regular check ups for Christie and need to monitor everything she eats so that it matches her insulin levels and she can stay healthy.
Christie, a P4 pupil at Linlithgow Primary, said: “It took a wee while to get used to having diabetes.
‘‘It was a surprise and a bit scary but I got the hang of it.
‘‘To other kids who find out they have diabetes I would say ‘just don’t be worried about it - you’ll be absolutely fine.”
Mum Iona is delighted the local cops are doing the cycle for JDRF highlighting that T1 diabetes is caused by a problem with the immune system, and not by an unhealthy diet.
Also JDRF focuses on diabetes specifically in children.
Iona, Christie and her sister Rosie will join the fundraising bike ride from the town to the Palace, where the cyclists stop for lunch.
Sergeant John Jackson, fellow organiser Calum Lawrie, and volunteers from Burn It Boot Camp will make up ‘Team Christie’, donning JRDF t-shirts for their 50-mile cycle.
Sergeant Jackson said: “Linlithgow Community Council and the Round Table bought us bikes for us to use on the job and to thank them we wanted to raise money for a worthwhile cause.
‘‘Calum Lawrie knew about Christie and the JDRF and we thought this was ideal. This is the year of inspiration for sport so we thought we’d get involved.”
To donate go to www.justgiving.com/wlcommun itysafety